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Community Christmas Dinner returns to coalition in Pahrump

The Activities Center at NyE Communities Coalition was teeming with smiles and good tidings as the annual Christmas Community Outreach Dinner returned to the venue on Tuesday, Dec. 24.

The free event, according to Linda Wright, chairperson for the New Holiday Task Force, said the popular event attracted more than 200 individuals and families, this year.

“We have been doing this community outreach dinner for over 10 years,” she said. “I put out 250 plates, so it’s safe to say there was well over two hundred people here today. Santa Claus is here as always. He is very reliable and he is booked a year in advance every year.”

Along with the Christmas Eve turkey dinner, Wright planned additional activities during the dinner from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We had raffles going on, and we also had gifts for the children and the adults this year, that were all donated from the community,” she said. “We have a coat room that is set up where we give away coats and jackets, along with scarves and hats to anybody in need who wants them.”

Additionally, Wright said that much of the food served came by way of donations.

“The turkeys provided this year were donated from the Nevada Southern Detention Center, also known as CoreCivic here in town,” she said. “We also teamed up with the Nye County jail, where the inmates cooked all of the turkeys. We have really reached out and partnered with the community on this event.”

One member of the local political scene on hand was Nye County District 4 Commissioner Leo Blundo, who served as the master of ceremonies.

Blundo was joined by fellow commissioners John Koenig of District 2 and Debra Strickland of District 5, both of whom volunteered to help serve dinner.

“I have been doing this for about eight or nine years now,” Blundo said. “Linda Wright has been the rock and she is always the last woman standing on this. I just wanted to make sure I was a part of that, because it’s a very humbling experience to be able to give back to your community. That’s what it’s all about. When you can get the community to buy in, you can make all sorts of things happen. That is the Pahrump community. We step up to the plate.”

Ski Censke, known much for his skills as an auctioneer, also attended the event.

Censke was responsible for the holiday-themed music for the event.

“This type of event can really make a difference in people’s lives,” he said. “A family can enjoy a great turkey dinner, visit with Santa Claus, and also leave with a few gifts. The act of giving benefits both the recipients and those who give. This is a very great cause each year.”

Wright, meanwhile, made sure to give thanks to other community members who volunteered their time and effort for the event.

“We couldn’t do this without our volunteers,” she said. “I am just so grateful that every year they come out. We have over 50 volunteers this year, and we always have tables set up for our veterans. We honor our veterans and we serve them. If we have any disabled community members, we can accommodate them as well. Just from the expressions on their faces, all of the families and individuals were very grateful for this event.”

The New Holiday Task Force accepts monetary donations year-round for the services they regularly provide for the community.

At present, any donations received will go to Pahrump’s Heritage Bible Church.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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